There are several reasons for this so I’ll just simply list them below:
- I use Easy Digital Downloads for WP theme and plugin distribution, and since EDD also handles the auto-update functionality for me it just made it easier to stick with EDD, even for a free framework like Freelancer.
- Requiring the Freelancer user to create an account and obtain a license, even a free license, not only provides me with useful information about our user base, but helps weed out the less serious users. If you can’t create a free account and activate a free lifetime/unlimited license to use a theme then I probably don’t want you using mine. 🙂
- Requiring a user account creation also allows the user an opportunity to sign up for the Freelancer Newsletter, which can benefit both the user and myself as the user base grows and our resources increase.
- Since I also sell our DevKit Plugin through EDD as well it just made sense to keep ALL of Freelancer a part of that license activation process, even though one license is free and the other is a paid license.
But just to be clear, creating an account is completely free, super simple, and your license can be used to activate an unlimited number of Freelancer Framework themes for the lifetime of the framework. So passing off a Freelancer powered site to a client or even another dev is no big deal because your license can just remain active or the new owner can just create their own free account and then use their own license to activate Freelancer.